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CoolLime Strategies to Stretching Your Business Dollar

CoolLime Strategies to Stretching Your Business DollarMICHELLE MEREDITH-BOWEN and MARCI POWELL spent over 17 years in healthcare sales and management. After seeing the serious decline in the health of many Americans, especially women, they went on a mission to make a difference and help women learn how to create REAL CHANGE in their health and happiness. They left their corporate jobs during voluntary downsizing and started a wellness coaching company called CoolLime Life in March 2010.

With no experience in this business or the web, and very little capital, these 2 friends spent the next 18 months launching a website (www.coollimelife.com ), writing an e-book (Live Your CoolLime Life 5 Fundamentals to Unleashing the Healthiest, Happiest You!), and developing an on-line wellness coaching program called CoolLimeU. They have spent under $10,000 during this time and know how to save $ and where not to waste it. They are in the process of launching their CoolLimeU coaching program and the direct selling model of independent consultants called CoolLime Consultants in September 2011.

So how did they do it? Here’s what the CoolLime Girls had to say:

“We took money from our savings (about $10,000 total) and invested it as we needed it. We spent every penny very carefully! Everything was new to us so we had a lot to learn. We love the learning process, which is part of the reason we started this venture…we wanted to learn how to create and run a successful business. Here are our chief tips and strategies for stretching your dollars:

1.Do it yourself…if you have the time!

Neither of us had any web experience, so we put our learning caps on and set out to learn what we needed to create our website. We have done almost all of the website and product development on our own. It may have taken us longer, but it did not cost us nearly as much as it would have if we hired someone. AND we know how things work. That makes it easier and saves us money if there are problems or issues because we can fix it ourselves!

Now, we do recognize that if you need things done immediately, or if you absolutely don’t have a clue on what to do (been there!)…that is where the second tip comes in.

2. Find the right strategic partners (balancing cost and quality of work)!

When we were developing the social/community aspect of our website, we hit a wall. We had pretty much done everything on our own up until that point, but we recognized that we had reached the max on our skills. We needed someone to step in and help us. That’s when we went on the search for a company that could help us while keeping costs low and still giving us the product we needed. Oh my! We learned very quickly how fast business’s budgets can be gobbled up by technology costs. One company started their pricing at $25,000…we decided we weren’t quite ready for that option so we kept looking. Then we got really lucky. We found a company that would work with us…not just do the project for us. During this process we have created a great business relationship with this organization and they have continued to help us with other projects. Vivoware is our “go to” resource for DNN website projects!

3. Leverage your friends and family’s skills!

We had quite a bit of help from our friends and family…not money…their knowledge. Michelle’s brother is an experienced IT guy. He helped us get our server set up and is “on-call” when there are issues. In exchange, Michelle buys her nephew Braiden very nice gifts. Michelle’s best friend since high school owns Purple Dragonfly Designs. She helped us with all of the design work at a significant discount in return for marketing mentions. If you have friends or family that can help you, create a reciprocal relationship where you can provide them help with something and they can help you. Everybody wins…and saves money!

4. Make Every Dollar Count!

Be a bargain shopper and compare prices. Take a little extra time to find the best option. One example that comes to mind is when we needed to purchase stock photos for our articles and website. That can get very expensive. We looked at almost every option out there and found one that allowed you to upload 25 pictures every day for 30 days at a cost of $249. They are probably banking on the fact most people will just upload a few pictures as needed. Not us! Every day we went in and took full advantage and got a stockpile of 750 pictures for $249!

5. Use different types of Social Media

We are using social media but we know that we haven’t yet leveraged all of the opportunities as more emerge every day. We have done everything that is FREE first! Make sure to create a Facebook page for your business. If you have a blog or website, you can publish content from your website directly on the wall and that can drive customers right back to your website or at least keep you in their thoughts. Facebook can also help you build “your list” of contacts that you can use to promote new products. Video is a big part of what we do. While we like YouTube, we actually prefer Vimeo. We did make an investment of $5 a month and with Vimeo we have the options we need. If you want to make an impact with your customers and increase your SEO, video allows you to connect in a way that no other media can. AND it is very cost effective…so if you aren’t using video, start today! Here is an example of our intro video

and the video for our CoolLimeU product!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/CoolLime-Life/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/CoolLimeGirls

 

Keeping costs low and running a business on a shoestring does take a little extra time and effort…but the rewards are worth it. We are now in a position to begin the next phase of our business, launching our direct selling model of independent consultants called CoolLime Consultants. Because we have kept costs to a minimum we are poised very well to obtain the financing we need to take our business to the next level.

We also know that our mindset of keeping costs low will never change…it’s just how we do it!”

About CoolLime Life:

CoolLime Life offers online and one-on-one coaching services and other training products committed to helping women unleash their full potential to reach the level of health and wellness they want. Products include: a free daily newsletter; CoolLimeU self directed coaching program; CoolLime Coach one-on-one wellness coaching services. All products and services are provided to customers through on-line access or via phone (one-on-one coaching).

Company slogan: “At CoolLimeLife we focus on Real health for Real life…YOUR real life! The best health products and programs in the world are worthless if they don’t fit into your life. At CoolLime Life YOU choose what you WANT for your life and HOW to get there… we just teach you the process!

 

 

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